Many Thuringians are annoyed about illegally dumped waste in nature. Now they can use their cell phones to ensure that such environmental crimes do not go unnoticed.
Erfurt (dpa/th) - Thuringia can use an app to alert the environmental authorities to illegally disposed waste and pollution. This garbage reporting function of the Thuringian environmental app has been used hundreds of times since it was launched four months ago, the Ministry of the Environment said on request in Erfurt. Thanks to the electronic information, more than 300 legacies left by polluters in nature have already been removed by the authorities.
The environmental app is a "successful digital environmentalist," said Environment Minister Anja Siegesmund (Greens). Many committed people and the employees of the authorities made sure that nature was protected.
According to the ministry, a total of around 560 reports via the app have been received by the local environmental authorities since the beginning of April. More than half of the reported accumulations of garbage have already been cleared.
For many Thuringian municipalities, illegally discarded rubbish is a constant nuisance - some report that the problem has increased significantly in recent years.
And this is how the system works: Illegal waste in the forest or in water can be reported directly to the responsible municipal authorities using the smartphone app with photos or video and the corresponding geo-coordinates. According to the ministry, the local authorities either receive the location coordinates directly via the software or pass them on to the State Office for the Environment, Mining and Nature Conservation.
The processing status of the reports can be tracked directly via the "My Environment" app. The new version can be found free of charge in the relevant app offers on the Internet.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, more than 90 percent of the reports so far concerned illegally dumped waste. The most diligent app users so far lived in the districts of Nordhausen and Sömmerda as well as in the state capital Erfurt.
The disposal of illegal waste is associated with a lot of effort for the municipalities. The city of Jena reported this year that around 100 tons of illegal waste were removed in 2021 alone. In Erfurt, the citizens' registration office processed around 800 cases of illegal dumping last year, and according to a spokesman earlier, 292 illegal dumps were cleared in Weimar last year.